Sunday, December 31, 2006

9 Days to Go and a look backwards

Only nine days to go before Virginia and I hit the airports, head to San Antonio, meet up with a rental car and drive to LaGrange for our month long artist(s) in residency program at Karey Bresenhan's Great Expectations Creativity Center.

To say I am excited is an understatement. I am tripping over boxes that are ready to ship out on Tuesday. I can't decide just what I am going to do so I have to take everything so I will be prepared for everything. Now that's a lot! The dye and chemicals have been packed. Some white fabric has been ripped off the bolt and folded for easier shipping. Paint has been ordered, mark making thingies have been added to the box, two boxes of silk screens are, what have I forgotten? Oh year, the heat gun, the teflon fusing sheets, tim tex for the support for some smaller pieces (I really don't have to do everything really big!). Have to pack more fabric...what else?

Checked with the airlines and I get to take two bags checked in each weighing no more than 50 lbs. Well, my clothes will hardly take up any knit pants and tee shirts with sweat shirts and my Crocs seem to be my way to go in the studio...but I will take something a little nicer so I can presentably go out for dinner, go to church on Sundays (a must since I have so much to be thankful for) and for the open studio and gala party Karey is planning...

So, I can fill up a suitcase with STUFF!!!

But before I go, I have to get a new power point presentation together to show to a guild on Monday, the 8th and get the stuff together for their workshop on the 7th. Come home, sleep a little while and then hit the runways...airplane runways, that is...not fashion (they would never let me in the building!)

I have gone through many emotions this year. It has really been a roller coaster, starting out with the highs of having not one, but two, articles that I wrote published in Quilting Arts Magazine (spring and summer issues in case you didn't see them!), being written about in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, again, being written about in the Surface Design Association's newsletter with two pictures of my work, and selling a fair amount of work this year.

I have always been pleased and somewhat surprised at the interest in my postcards through FFAC. I was able to supply Virginia with a great number both for Chicago and Houston. I also participated in her reverse auction and am so thankful that Tomme Fent spared me from not having my work purchased by adding another piece of mine to her collection.

And the father almost starving himself to forced action on my part which could only happen when he was completely unable to care for himself. I watched him drop down to about 110 pounds and looking like a skeleton, to now outgrowing some of his clothes. We have live in help for him and he is a different person. A mother-daughter team work with him and he is especially fond of the daughter who never had time with her own grandparents, so she now knows all our family stories. But most importantly, he laughs and is enjoying his life....far more so that I have every seen in him. My parents have always been the proper ones...I acted out everyone's emotions!

My grandson is growing, is happy and healthy and fun to be around. My daughter, her husband and my son are all gainfully employed in jobs they like and both have been able to buy houses (of course, my son's house in Ohio cost 1/4 what my daughter's did here in California!). Although I don't see my son very often (once or twice a year) I do see my daughter and her family several times a week. My husband's health is good, he entertains himself well in his workshop working on his metal lathes and doing whatever it is that he does (he shows me metal things he has machined and they look beautiful but I have no idea what they are for but I make the appropriate, appreciative comments)

I have enjoyed the contacts that I have made as a result of the articles for Quilting Arts...I've done some critique work for a couple of people and offered suggestions for improving and helped someone work through her first abstract design. What could be more rewarding? (expect for my grandson's for fiber art piece!)

This has been a good year. I am hopeful that the change brought about by the elections will bring more hope to our country and more of a sense of responsibility to care for those in need, in our country and abroad. I found that the world situation was really getting me down and I now have a more hopeful outlook. My church is working toward more outreach to those in need, a more Christ-centered atmosphere, and a desire to speak out on injustices. Tomorrow night we will have a vigil for those of our soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. I will be there.

So, the best to everyone. May the new year bring you a joyful experience with your creativity, may you recognise your God-given gifts, and may you use them wisely!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Too much fun!

This is just way too much pictures, that is. Now I have to decide what I am going to do with them. Guess I just have to keep on going. This satisfies while I try to pack up whatever is going to Texas...pulled dyes sort of together, now all the rest of the chemicals to go with them need to be packed and then shipped off.

Then to pack up fabric...ugh...Virginia was smart, she just ordered 100 yards of pfd and had it shipped right there...maybe I should do that although I want some canvas also...I have gotten some fine weave canvas which is great to work on.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Painting up a storm, the digital way

I am now adventuring in to the world of digital painting. This is going to be addictive! I don't have to wait for the paint to dry, I don't have to clean all of the brushes that I have used, I can easily correct mistakes. Whooooo eeeee!!!

Thankfulness Multiplied

This is the day after Christmas, a time to be very thankful if things have gone well, or a time to be sad if they haven't.

My father's health has been excellent and he came to our home on Sunday morning. We spent the day at the house and then in mid afternoon went over to my daughter's house. Her husband's family joined us and we had a tremendous meal of prime rib, cooked to perfection! My father enjoyed himself and talked to several people there...something new since he has finally taken to wearing his hearing aids. Previously he would sit to the side lost because he couldn't hear what was being said, and then would misunderstand things and get upset. Funny what being able to hear does!

Of course, the German side of my daughter's family opened all of their gifts that night.

Santa Claus paid a visit to our home for is so surprising that he seems to find his way everywhere! More train, more train, became the operative word from Jacob as he reaped in Tommy the Train things.

I made a drastic change this year. I had been brought up with very formal Thanksgivings, Christmas Eves and Christmas days. We had taken to celebrating Christmas eve at our home in order to combine our two families after our marriage. Now my daughter has taken over Christmas eve for the same reason. Christmas day used to be at my parents and now it is with us. A generation moves on.

So, instead of the great damask table cloth and seating for 17 at the dinner table with sterling silver flatware, china (the Christmas set) damask napkins, silver and china serving dishes, and Waterford crystal, both water and wine glasses, butter dishes, salad plates etc. I just put the food out on the table, used the Christmas china salad plates with silver forks and paper napkins and everyone grazed all day. Off course, when the shrimp came out there was another stampede to the table and the same when the deviled eggs came out. And then the ham...and this went on from noon to about 7pm when we brought out the ice cream.

I have finally, at the age of 59, learned that I can change my traditions to fit my way of living. No longer are the children held captive at the dinner table until everyone is finished. No longer do we sit around waiting for everyone to be served. No longer do we wait for the hostess to lift her fork. Now we can just enjoy ourselves...oh yeah, the clean up was much faster, too!

It became a very nice, relaxing day. Some of us played Level 10, some of us played on the computer, we all talked and visited and I got to play with my new gift...

I recieved a Wacom Graphire and have been having a blast just playing. Ideas are starting to pop about how I can use it to make silk screens, do fabric to print and all sorts of things.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Big Thank You and family gatherings

I want to thank all of you who have supported me with the purchase of my work! This has been wonderful and has now paid for all the paint I just bought. The first check has come in and the work is starting to leave my house.

Thank you...oh, you can also go to my website anytime to check out other work for purchase! And I have easy time installment plans too!

Last weekend we (my husband, Doug, my daughter, Tori, her husband Dave and grandson Jacob and I all went up to our cabin in the Sierra. We cut down our Christmas trees. Jacob went up with Doug and I first for a couple of days and then his parents came up.

So here is daddy Dave with Jacob and the Christmas tree that they found.

And Granpa Doug with Jacob helping to trim a little off of our tree with his mom hovering in the background!

Yesterday we babysat Jacob...or at least I did. I made a great hit as grandmother by buying McDonald's lunch and sitting in front of train tracks for 30 minutes waiting for a train to go by. Well, it went Amtrak with four cars and traveling 60 miles an hour...we barely saw it.

so we sat another 15 minutes and watched a freight train rolling by which was far more satisfying. Of course, we were parked right in front of the red flashing guard lights which went ding-ding-ding-ding which were added to the repertory of new train sounds!

Then after dinner at which time his parents joined us, it was time to help granmommy make Christmas cookies.
so, every good cookie maker knows that the first thing you do after making the dough is to clean up...

And then, with a little help from mom down on the custom work surface on the floor, cookies got stamped down with sugar and then sprinkled for decoration. What a fun evening!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Uh Oh...

Rosemary Claus-Gray wrote and said she wasn't coming to get in line for the AIR program but really to meet me and Virginia. Virginia thought I might be insulting people with my comment about people only coming to get in line for the AIR program.

My apologies...there is no way you can see the twinkle in my eye when I wrote that people weren't coming to see us but to get in line for the AIR! I really said this tongue-in-cheek, just trying to be funny!

Well, please don't be offended if that really is why you are coming (which is fine with me!! LOL!!!) or if you are coming to see Virginia and me or if you are coming to see Karey or just to see her place. Any of those reasons are good enough and it sounds like we will be having a great party! so, y'all better come on down to see us! For whatever reason!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

21 Days to go/HELP

I have just ordered a bunch of paint and other stuff to be shipped to Karey's for the Artist in Residence program.

There are so many people who have filled the 10 beds (well, at least 10 people) and bunches of others coming for the open studios on January 27. I was starting to have some performance anxiety with all the "name" art quilters who are planning to come.

Surely, they were coming to see Virginia of FFAC fame!

Well, we have decided that they are all really coming to check out the Creativity Center and put in their own bids for an AIR spot. So, now believing that this is really what is happening, I can relax and get ready for Christmas.

But, I need some money so decided to put these pieces up for sale at $50 each and I will pay shipping. What a deal. They are all ready to hang with black cotton duck gallery wrapped and the piece is wired for immediate hanging. Treat yourself to an after Christmas gift to make up for not getting what you wanted in the first place on Christmas!

Red Canyon 10

4x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging

$50 including shipping

Slot Canyon 2

4 x 6 on 8 x 10" stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Open to Interpretation

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Oriental Sun 7

4 x 6on 8 x 10 stretched black cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Red Canyon

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging

Slot Canyon 4

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging

Red Canyon 2

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Actually, any sales of my work will help clear off the bed my son will sleep in as of Thursday night when he comes home from Ohio for Christmas.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

An Invite from Karey

I just couldn't pass up posting Karey's invitation to the Great Expectations Creativity Center in La Grange. Virginia and I will have an open studio on January 27. Just contact Karey at

"You're invited to a casual lunch and Open Studio day at our Artist in Residence studio and Great Expectations Creativity Center in LaGrange, Texas on Saturday, January 27, from 1-4. Virginia Spiegel from Illinois and Liz Berg from California will be doing a dual-artist Residency with us during January, and I want to host a little get-together for quilt artists who might like to come over, up, or down to meet them. LaGrange is in Central Texas about 1:30 hours from Houston, 1:10 from Austin, 1:50 from San Antonio, and I'm not sure about Dallas! It's an easy drive from three of the major metropolitan areas in the state, and there should be very little traffic on Saturday. You can walk our special Labyrinth of Life and get a good start on the New Year, stroll across my Bridge of Stars handmade by my husband over what was once a rushing creek and 6' waterfalls and now is a very handsome rocky dry gully (Central Texas is still in a drought situation!), peacefully ponder the pond where our duck family may once again be in residence, watch the hawks soar and glide looking for dinner, maybe get a glimpse of an early wildflower or two. We'll have a come and go light lunch, very casual, a special quilt exhibit on display in the Creativity Center, and of course, the stars of the party: Virginia and Liz! They promise to open their studio to show you just what they are working on and what they've experimented with during their residency. If anyone wants to fly in for the festivities, the Austin airport is closer than Houston. If you'd like to spend the night, I've got two dorm rooms that sleep 10 total (under quilts, of course!), plus three nice, new bathrooms. The beds are up for grabs till we run out! There are lots of pretty darn good restaurants in the area for dinner Saturday night--you might be surprised, considering LaGrange is a little town of around 4000! I can't promise any fun activities on Sunday the 28th, but I'll come up with a light breakfast--kolaches and pigs-in-a-blanket, coffee, tea and juice--for anyone who wants to stay over and perhaps hike, sketch, journal, visit, relax in one of the many rocking chairs, or just enjoy the beauty of a quiet winter day in the country. Sunday afternoon we're inviting the folks from the LaGrange area, including the local quilt guild, to come meet Virginia and Liz and see the exhibits on display. January in Texas can run the gamut of weather choices. It can be freezing cold and icy (not at all likely) or it can be in the 70's and balmy! It will most likely be 50's or 60's in the daytime and 40's at night. I'm assuming most of the folks who'll come will be from Texas anyway, so you know the weather here as well as I do! I do need some idea of who's going to come so I can be sure I have enough food (and beds if anyone wants to stay overnight), so let me know if you think you'll be able to join us. Then I'll send more information and final details just to those of you who are hoping to be here and won't tie up the list with those messages. There's no charge for anything...even the overnight accommodations, lunch, or breakfast! Y'all come! Karey Bresenhan Director, Int'l Quilt Festival--Houston and Chicago" ------------------------------

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

36 Days to go

Who cares about Christmas? I'm having the greatest time with Advent...contemplating, listening, thinking and finally, doing some art work. (Well, I really do look forward to Christmas but Advent has all the religious meanings for me)

Just before Thanksgiving I came down with a humongous head cold. It put me in bed for three days (which doesn't happen very often) and then finally I was able to go out, buy a turkey and the other stuff and return to bed. Then, each day I did a little bit more towards dinner since we had 14 people coming over. I got the heirloom damask table cloth (which is huge) on to our extended table, which seats 14, and just focused on the food. Things were actually pretty easy as I didn't stuff the turkey and it came out the best we have ever had. Took only 4 hours for a 23 pounder and it was moist, tender and great. The stuffing was cooked in its own pan. Made two apple pies, etc.

Once my daughter got here she organized the other two young women who got the table set. My dear daughter figured out all the serving bowls, etc and put labels in them so we could keep it straight. With 14 at the table, we have two of everything so you don't have to wait forever to get your food. Then my son-in-law came in, mashed the potatoes, carved the turkey, and away we went to the table. It was a nice gathering and it was nice having my father with us...not only alive but looking good and with a sense of humor.

Well, two weeks later and I am still coughing but finally am not sleeping more that I am awake. I also have some energy coming back.

So, yesterday I started doing some discharging. About a month ago someone posted a web site that had tire treads on it. I downloaded pictures, and then started tweaking them in PhotoShop and printed out copies to make thermofax screens. What a hoot! I have printed a bunch of them with ink and now have discharged a bunch. They are ready for the next layer to make complex cloth. And then I worked on even more...including a picture of barbed wire, bark, and all sorts of other things, including the air vent in the hallway at the convention Tire treads warped

center in Houston which I took last year. So much fun!

Barbed wire and the air vent at Houston